Senator Noel Kinsella

Oshawa, Ontario - Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - by: Tom Mitchell

Delay election, Tories plead

Feb. 5, 2004

OTTAWA–The new Conservative party released its first set of policies yesterday and at the same time asked the Liberals to put off the expected spring election to give it more time to get ready.
"We're building, we're scrambling and we're doing quite well but we're not ready to fight an election," Conservative Senator Noël Kinsella said. "Therefore Canadians don't have a choice."
Kinsella yesterday called on the Liberals to delay the creation of seven new ridings until June and effectively postpone the expected spring election until the fall.
"It's tremendously important for the Conservative Party of Canada to complete the work we're doing. I think it's a question of fair play," he said in an interview yesterday.
The Liberals want the new ridings to take effect April 1 in order to go to the polls in April or May. That's just two weeks after the Conservatives are slated to pick a new leader. And it gives little time for the new party to formulate policy, Kinsella said. He introduced a Senate bill proposing June 23 as the date for the riding redistribution to take effect. He admits the 67 Liberal senators can "bring down the hammer" on the 26 Conservative senators and push through whatever date they want. But he said in the interests of democracy the Liberals should give the Conservatives time.
"It'll be totally unfair to Canadians who want to have a chance to look at two strong parties," he said.
Yesterday, Conservative MPs took the first step towards preparing for an election when they released a "partial policy statement," a list of "common ground" policies drawn from the platforms of the former Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties. That document expresses support for smaller government, lower taxes and the "equality of all Canadians." It supports the equal status of English and French. Social programs should be designed around the notion that "the responsibility for the well-being of citizens rests first and foremost with the individual and the family," says the document. On health care, it says the party believes in "reasonable access to quality health care regardless of ... ability to pay."

Toronto Star


It is unfortunate that Senator Kinsella didn't show the concern for democracy and fairness he asks of the Liberals while his colleagues were promoting the dissolution of the Progressive Conservative Party against the expressed will of the membership. The merger was forced on us through a gun tot he head, damned if we did, damned if we didn't, not itme for debate, resolution. The probable timing of an election has been well know since Jean Chretien announced his intention to retire.


Instead of planning for that likely date, Senator Kinsella's colleagues proceeded to destroy  the founding party of Canada in the naked pursuit of corporate cash and the facile  arithmetic of vote splitting. They derailed a democratic policy process that might have produced real change.




Senator Kinsella's pleading rings hollow. That the electorate has only two choices in an election is a monstrous conceit. No one should trust the merger monster with official  opposition status, let alone government.



Tom Mitchell



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